Like millions of others around the world, my heart breaks at the thought of the destruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
When I think about how much this cathedral survived since its construction over 850 years ago, it’s incredulous to think that an accidental fire could be the force that brings it down.
It’s devastating to think about the inevitable loss of history, art and relics in the cathedral. The news said the loss may include pieces such as a crown of thorns thought to be worn by Jesus during his crucifixion, as well as part of the cross He was hung on. I didn’t even know these incredible relics were thought to exist until the moment I found out they were thought to be destroyed.
Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions.
I will say, though, that I am blown away by the unity this disaster has created around the world. The only thing I can compare it to is the surge of patriotism after 9/11. I am in awe of the people who came together in solidarity to pray and sing hymns as the firefighters fought to control the flames.
I’ve sat back and asked God a couple times today what He’s doing through this event. What is the take away? What lesson does He want the world to learn through this devastation?
I think it’s fitting that at the start of Lenten season on Ash Wednesday we are reminded that we are born from dust and to dust we shall return. As Easter quickly approaches on Sunday, it’s almost symbolic that parts of Notre Dame are reduced to ashes. It reminds me that our earthly lives and possessions aren’t meant to go on forever, no matter how important they are or may seem to be. What’s important is our faith and the lasting impact it has on those around us after we are gone.